Thursday, November 7, 2019
Why I Left YouTube
So, the big question is, why did I leave YouTube? Well, the answer perhaps starts with why I started a channel in the first place, and that was because my office was downstairs under the living room and I felt like the troll under the stairs, a bit lonely and cut off from my family and I was bored while I waited for calls when I was working online as a tarot reader, so I was watching a lot of YouTube, one particular channel especially, and I decided to join in the fun. There weren't as many tarot channels back then, in 2014.
I've been on and off YouTube a couple of times over the past five years, same with Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. I'd canceled all of my other social media and returned to YouTube in August of 2018, right after my 55th birthday, but I've discovered a bit of a problem with it as time has gone on, the same things that led me to leave before: it's just too big of a distraction and keeps me from doing the reading and studying that I want to do, and it just starts to feel like too much pressure to keep up with everyone and adds too much stress to my life.
I've thought about taking a break for weeks now, but then I started putting up the quality content I've always wanted to provide because with our upcoming move from PA to NH in 2020, I know I may be way too busy next year to produce any content or watch any videos. I also don't even know if we'll have internet, or if we do it may only be satellite or DSL. We're moving to an area that many people vacation in to unplug, so only in areas where there's a good concentration of permanent residents do they have decent internet, and that's what we're moving there to get away from instead. That realization is part of what made me leave YouTube permanently.
So, what's the other part? For me, Paleo living has become not just a diet but a complete lifestyle, as much as possible in our modern age. This past week I've had a few chances to hang out with friends in person, and that felt very good and right. Talking about friends I have around the world and across the country, with a few exceptions, felt fake. I've never met these people in person and never will. Now some I text and email with regularly, and even video chat with occasionally, so those are the exceptions. The rest, it just doesn't feel "right". In his book Primal Connection, Mark Sisson mentions that we're designed to gather with small groups of people, not hundreds or thousands over digital media. I agree, and I think that's what's been bothering me for a couple of years now.
Adding to it is the new elitist guidelines on YouTube, like only channels with over 500 or 1,000 subscribers having access to certain features rather than having them available to all channels. There were features that I had available that suddenly disappeared since I didn't meet the new criteria yet.
Most of all though is just feeling like I get nothing done due to irrelevant distractions that aren't really adding anything substantial to my life, again with a few exceptions. Nor do I feel that I've done much substantial to add to the lives of others. I hope that I'll do so with this blog instead, and put some good content out that others will appreciate and find valuable, something that no social media really seems to do.
I have no regrets over my time on YouTube, and I'm very grateful for the friends I've made that I couldn't have made any other way. Time will tell which ones are true friends and which are not, and I'm already discovering who is who, but I have to be true to myself and live my life without feeling I have to share it with the world.